STRAIGHT/CURVE DOCUMENTARY TAKES ON FASHION INDUSTRY SIZEISM
Fashion and its long-term problem with plus-size modelling is something we’re all too familiar with; on the brink of revolution, this problem with sizeism, however, is now being addressed with help from the new documentary, Straight/Curve. This documentary, directed by Jenny McQuaile and set to be released this September 2016, looks to confront issues about the female body and redefine society’s standards of beauty – particularly in the fashion industry.
“This generation of models is ready to usher in a new definition of beauty – one that is all inclusive and supports positive body ideas and self-acceptance,” Lewis – a model with 15 years’ experience as a straight-size and plus-size model – told Glamour. “The fashion industry needs to be reflective and representative of the diversity that exists in present-day society.” The documentary features interviews with models such as Eva Kay, Natalie Torres, Sarah Hartshorne, and Sabina Karlsson, as it delves behind the scenes of New York City’s plus-size fashion industry. “The day we don’t get so excited about seeing a plus-size model in a magazine is the day we’ve made it,” said model Georgina Burke in the trailer.
With female empowerment at its core, the film aims to unpick why, when and how exactly size zero wormed its way into the norm of society – a particularly disturbing question considering the fact that over two thirds of women sit amongst the ‘plus-size category’ (size 10 to 14). “Our documentary [shows] the fight to change the face of fashion or our generation,” explained McQuaile. “We want to empower women to love your bodies no matter what your shape or size, as long as you’re healthy.”
With such elation from the Straight/Curve Documentary, it seems more than necessary to highlight the most pinnacle and noteworthy changes among the fashion industry today. Featured in Bust magazine, a group of models all of whom portray body types that differ from the ultra-skinny models we are so used to seeing on the catwalks have taken modelling by storm: Ashley Graham, Danielle Redman, Inga Eirkisdottir, Julie Henderson and Marquita Pring.
Plus, in February, the inclusion of ‘plus-size’ model Robyn Lawley in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue catalysed many debates. “Why are we so focused on having the girl fit the clothes rather than the clothes fit the girls?” Lawley told NY Magazine, The Cut. “Designers need to not be so fearful of using a few models that are a different size on the catwalk.” Following this, the #DropThePlus movement spurred into action by Australian model Stefania Ferrario and started calling on the industry to use models of ALL shapes, sizes and ethnicities, and drop the misleading labels.
A woman’s ‘ideal’ body has changed drastically throughout history: in ancient Egypt, ‘attractive’ women had slender shoulders and high waists; in the Italian Renaissance the ideal was round stomachs and fair skin; the eighties idealised an athletic build with curves; the twenties woman aimed for a flat-chest and downplayed waist; today, it seems that there is now a strong focus on body diversity and welcoming shapes and sizes for all their beauty. Overall, the momentum is growing and the fashion industry is slowly opening its doors to acceptance.
The Straight/Curve documentary aims to expose this complex relationship that lies amongst mainstream media, the fashion industry and body image presented among society. Finally this relationship – this hugely afflicting relationship – is being investigated…and the premiere can’t come any sooner!